Shamrock Rovers striker Gary Shaw will be hoping to see action against his former club.

EA Sports Cup Preview: Shamrock Rovers -v- Longford Town
Published: May 01, 2017

SHAMROCK ROVERS

The Hoops are looking to make their sixth successive semi-final in the EA Sports Cup by overcoming Longford Town on Tuesday in Tallaght (kick off 7.30pm).

 

A victory would give them a welcome boost ahead of the visit of Dundalk to Tallaght on Friday, especially after losing two points late on against Limerick in their last league outing.

 

It looked like Rovers were going to get the win last Friday night until Limerick’s Rodrigo Tosi popped up in the last minute to equalise. Rovers had led since the 18th minute thanks to Roberto Lopes’ first goal for the Hoops.

 

“We made mistakes at the last minute that cost us (against Limerick),” said Hoops head coach Stephen Bradley. “I thought we had a good shape about us and moved well. I’m just disappointed we didn't see it out.

 

"I expect Longford will come and up their game like everyone does when they come to Tallaght. So we just have to be ready for that and make sure we impose ourselves on them.”

 

Bradley will likely have one eye on the upcoming Dundalk league game but won’t want to dilute his team too much to jeopardise progress in this competition.

 

"You're two wins away from a chance of winning (the trophy) and this group needs to learn how to win together.

 

“So we need to try and get that into them as quick as possible. If this competition gives us the chance to do that, well then we need to go and try and take it.”

 

Paul Corry got just over a quarter hour of action on Friday and will likely feature again.

 

“Paul has been training in the last week. He obviously missed six or seven weeks before that, so we'll have a look at him and see if we can get him some more minutes.

 

“We'll try and play lads that we think need minutes but we'll also pick a team that we feel is strong enough to go and win the game."

 

Following his recent red card against Bray, Michael O’Connor received an additional two match suspension and will miss Tuesday’s game (as well as the visit of his former club Dundalk to Tallaght on Friday).

 

Trevor Clarke is available for Rovers as he returns from his five yellow card suspension but Bradley will have to continue though without defender Danny Devine and midfielder Ryan Connolly.

 

 

LONGFORD TOWN

Longford are looking to join Galway United, Cork City and Dundalk in the EA Sports Cup semi-finals. De Town come into the game on the back of a 3-1 midlands derby win over Athlone Town in the First Division on Friday.

 

Enda Curran was the hero, coming off the bench to bag a hat trick in ‘El Classico’ in a victory that moved Alan Mathews’ men up to fifth in the First Division table.

 

“It was excellent to get the three points,” said Mathews to sseairtricityleague.ie.

 

"That wasn't one of our better performances tonight to be perfectly honest with you. We played with heart we played with passion we had to dig in.”

 

The Longford manager had to make an early change in that game with David O’Sullivan being replaced by Curran just ten minutes into the match.

 

“David went off very early in the game. We had to rejig and we brought Enda on and he gets a hat-trick which was quite a brilliant way to respond!"

 

Tuesday’s game is a break from the First Division and gives them a chance to go up against a Premier Division side like they hope to do on a weekly basis next season.

 

“We have to do our very best to give ourselves an opportunity to try and play in Tallaght, to try and play in Dalymount, to try and play in Dundalk, to try and play in Turners Cross as we did last season.

 

"To do that we are going to have to work extremely hard as this is an extremely competitive league. There's a lot of clubs all trying to get out.

 

“We have a heavy schedule. We are playing Rovers Tuesday and we look forward to that and see where we go from there.”

 

 

Referee: Rob Rogers.

 

MATCH STATS
In the last two seasons the Hoops have been eliminated from this competition by St. Patrick’s Athletic as the Saints went on to pick up the trophy. Rovers have only lifted it on two occasions – 1976/77 and 2013.

 

With Longford having been relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season, this is the first time the two sides have faced each other this year. The last time Longford beat the Hoops in league action was a decade and nine matches ago.

 

The sides haven’t met in this competition for 15 years. The Hoops ran out 6-1 winners at Tolka Park that night.

 

 

BETTING
Shamrock Rovers 2/5; Draw 10/3; Longford Town 15/2.

 

PREDICTION
Shamrock Rovers 2 – 0 Longford Town

 

 

Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Danny Devine, Ryan Connolly.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Michael O’Connor.

 

Longford Town

Injured: None.

Doubtful: David O’Sullivan, Jake Kelly, Don Cowan.

Suspended: None.


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Macdara Ferris

Macdara Ferris is a contributor since 2007 to Hoops Scene (Shamrock Rovers' match day programme) and the co-author of Tallaght Time: Shamrock Rovers 2009 to 2012. He still believes that one day he will see Rovers win the FAI Cup. The first international game he attended was Luxembourg being dispatched 2-1 at Lansdowne Road by Jack Charlton's Ireland team.

He has been a writer with extratime.ie since 2012 covering the League of Ireland, the Irish National team and a few Champions League finals. He has also been known to pop up in far flung places like Ballybofey, Belfast, Berlin and Brazil to report for extratime.

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